Weapons master

Weapons master

thumb|right|_[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002551/ Bill Davis] a property master and firearms choreographer.] The weapons master, sometimes credited as the armorer, weapons specialist, weapons handler, weapons wrangler, or weapons coordinator, is a film crew specialist that works with the property master, director, actors and script supervisor. The weapons master is specifically responsible for maintaining control of any weapon props (including but not limited to firearms, knives, swords, bows, and staff weapons). The weapons master is present whenever a scene with a weapon is to be shot. They present the actor with the weapon just prior to the scene, and they take control of the weapon when the scene is done. It is the primary function of the weapons master to ensure that the weapons under their control do not cause harm to the cast, crew or production property. Secondary functions include ensuring that the weapons can achieve the director's goals in terms of appearance and function, and that they meet the continuity requirements for the production. While some weapons masters work exclusively in film production, others are specialists outside of the media profession who are called in because of their familiarity, licensing and qualifications with the weapons in question. Some weapons masters (particularly in lower-budget productions) are also responsible for training the actors. Prior to the 1980s, weapons were frequently the responsibility of the property master or his assistant, but since then, it has becoming increasingly common in the industry for the property master to a hire a dedicated weapons master in order to reduce the burden on himself. However, it is still common for the property master to double as the weapons master on productions where NFA-regulated firearms (such as machine guns or sawed-off shotguns) are not being used as a cost-saving measure.

Some well-known weapons masters currently working in Hollywood include:

* Michael Papac: Founder of Cinema Weaponry; film credits include the "Lethal Weapon" and "Die Hard" series, "Three Kings", "We Were Soldiers", and "xXx".
* Syd Stembridge: Current owner of Stembridge Gun Rentals, one of the oldest Hollywood rental armories in existence; film credits include the "Rambo" series and "Waterworld".
* Mike Gibbons: Founder of Gibbons, Ltd.; film credits include "Robocop 3", "Windtalkers", and "Collateral".
* Rick Washburn: Founder of Weapons Specialists, Inc.; film credits include "The Godfather Part 3", "Cop Land", "Godzilla", and "Bad Company".
* Harry Lu: Former Stembridge armorer (now freelance) and veteran of many famous action movies and crime thrillers; film credits include "", "Batman", "True Lies", "Heat", "The Patriot", "Pearl Harbor", "War of the World", and "Training Day".
* Charlie Taylor: Founder of Movie Armaments Group; film credits include "Romeo + Juliet", "The Boondock Saints", "Assault on Precinct 13", and the "Resident Evil" series.
* Thell Reed: Former World Champion Live Ammo Quick Draw Artist, now a popular freelance gun coach and weapons armorer in Hollywood; film credits include "Tombstone", "L.A. Confidential", "Blade", and "Mr. & Mrs. Smith".
* John 'Frenchie' Berger (retired): Founder of Shooting With The Stars; film credits "The Big Hit", "The Corruptor", "Exit Wounds", "Four Brothers", and "16 Blocks".

External links

* [http://www.longmountain.com/ Long Mountain Outfitters] - Contains a great deal of information on the business and pictures of historic movie prop guns.

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